Lobbying in India

by Véronique Queffélec on octobre 31, 2008


Ci-dessous, un interview que j’ai donné pour le magazine indien The Tribune of Punjab à propos du lobbying en Inde.

What do the French think about doing business in India?

Indian culture and spirituality have always fascinated the French. But they are just beginning to discover the potentials of the Indian market. They have misgivings and are often concerned about the complexity and the number of decision-making actors; the difficulty and delays of the administrative procedures, the high import taxes as well as the differences in the notion of time. They have many questions concerning the cast system, human rights and even women’s rights. The French have an idea of India that doesn’t necessarily match Indian reality. They love India but don’t really know it*, they don’t know how to tackle it. That’s where lobbying can be useful.

What are your views concerning lobbying in India, how do you think lobbying can establish itself here?

The Commonwealth countries, the United States as well as Israel have a long tradition of lobbying, where it is seen as an activity in its own right. So lobbying is alive and well in India. In France it’s not like that, and it’s too bad. I have been working as a lobbyist both for the Indians and the French, aiming to establish useful bridges between the two countries. On the French side, helping them to understand and work with the complex Indian decision-making process: the National Union and the federal states, but also helping them to work with the numerous and varied networks. On the Indian side, explaining to the political and administrative deciders, the advantages of, the norms, the specificities of French firms so that they may take them into account in their decision-making processes, to consider whether they are pertinent and potentially useful for the country’s needs. I did something very similar when I worked for French firms with respects to the European Community.

My first victory was in 2007 when I worked on the creation of the first Euro-Indian firm in business jet sales and management, SCR-Masterjet India Ltd., a deal between SRC-Ltd, a leader in central Asia that operates in the main Indian airports, and Masterjet, based in Lisbon, London, Paris and Geneva.

What do the French think about lobbying and how will the two countries develop future business ties?

Lobbying has long been seen with suspicion in France but has recently been accepted thanks to measure by the European Community who understands its role in a democratic process. Lobbying is the art of influencing a public or private decision, the art of pleading a cause before public authorities or before an entity that has the potential for influencing the decision-making process. Basically a lobbyist has to know how to put together the pieces of a puzzle quickly. French lobbying in India works to present to Indian decision-makers the diversity, the innovative capacities and the specificities of French firms and their adaptability to the sub-continent. With regards to the French, lobbying allows them to better understand the diversity, the creativity and ingenuity of Indians in every area, their significant scientific achievements, their modern stance. All this is done in light of cooperation, of joint-ventures. This is my job.

Pour télécharger l’interview complet, cliquer ici.